Thursday, January 15, 2009

Armstrong To Confirm His Ironman Status

ONCE Lance Armstrong has finished his cycling comeback, his sporting career will turn full circle.

Armstrong has confirmed widely held speculation that he will eventually compete in an ironman triathlon.

As a teenager, the record seven-time Tour de France champion was a top-class triathlete on shorter courses in the late 1980s.

But he switched to road cycling, where he has become one of the sport's greatest competitors.

"Whenever I'm done with this (comeback). I can unequivocally say yes to that," Armstrong has told the American magazine Outside about entering an ironman.

"That's a fact and I get asked that question every day. I don't know when it was, less than a year ago, that I got some of these ironman DVDs - I said 'let's see what that's all about'."

Armstrong also wants to be competitive when he tries the gruelling event.

An ironman consists of a swim of 3.8 kilometres, cycle of 180 kilometres and a run of 42.2 kilometres.

The winner finishes in around eight hours and the cut-off time for the late finishers is 15 to 17 hours. "I'm definitely motivated to do an ironman," he said. "We'll go back and I'll be close to 40, but I've swum more in the last three years than before that.

"And I don't want to just do an ironman. I don't want to approach it like I approached the marathons. I want to do it as fast as I can."

Armstrong has competed in several marathons, posting a string of finishes under three hours.

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